Last week, this race seemed focused on the future and the policies of the candidates. Yet this week quickly became bogged down in the past and the records of each candidate.
The biggest action taken by Governor Corbett this week was the loaning of $700 million from the state treasury’s $1.5 billion short-term investment pool. The loan was necessary to keep the state on a sound fiscal footing and predictably caused an outcry from many Democrats, including the Wolf campaign.
“The Corbett Administration yesterday took out a payday loan to meet basic state spending needs,” Wolf campaign spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan said.
“Pennsylvanians are suffering from Governor Corbett’s mismanagement and failed leadership,” he continued. “Under his administration, annual budgets have been filled with one-time gimmicks, flimsy projections, and a lack of real solutions, resulting in credit downgrades and a $2.7 billion deficit.”
“Now, Governor Corbett’s financial mess has forced Pennsylvania to rely on payday loans in order for the state to pay its bills,” Sheridan concluded.
“Tom Corbett promised a fiscally responsible administration, but his rhetoric never matched the reality. As a result, Pennsylvania is broke and is borrowing $1.5 billion just to pay the bills,” said Campaign for a Fresh Start Spokesman Mike Mikus. “Tom Corbett’s needs to explain why his policies require the commonwealth to borrow $1.5 billion just two months into the fiscal year. How long has he known that that money would need to be borrowed just to pay the bills? Why did he not see this coming when signed the budget just two months ago? If he did see the need to borrow money when he signed the budget, why did he hide it from the people of Pennsylvania?”
They even released a web video today reiterating their point:
“You would think that Tom Corbett would be jumping at the chance to prove Ron Tomalis earned his keep if Tomalis really wasn’t a ghost employee,” Mikus said. Unless he has something to hide, Tom Corbett will end the cover-up of the Ron Tomalis scandal and order the Department of Education to fully cooperate with this audit so that the people can learn whether or not Mr. Tomalis did any work to earn his $140,000, taxpayer-funded salary.”
“Tom Corbett and his Department of Education have misled the public for the past two months, and the department’s shocking declaration that it will block the Auditor General’s investigation just smells rotten,” Mikus concluded. “It is time for Governor Corbett to come clean and allow the auditors figure out how Ron Tomalis was able to earn $140,000 to do no work.”
As you would expect, Governor Corbett felt the Wolf campaign’s comments about the $700 million loan were unnecessary and unfair.
“It should come as no surprise that Secretary Tom Wolf would quickly attack Governor Tom Corbett for using a maneuver first used in 2009 by Wolf’s mentor, Governor Ed Rendell to clean up Wolf’s mess,” Corbett-Cawley Communications Director Chris Pack said. “Governor Rendell first had to use this procedure to compensate for revenue projections made by Secretary Tom Wolf that were so far off that they actually had to create an independent office to check Wolf’s math.”
“This is just another example of Secretary Tom Wolf’s ‘do as I say, not as I do’ hypocrisy that should come as no surprise given Wolf’s longstanding blind political ambition and obsession with calling himself Governor,” Pack concluded.
Pack’s statement links to a Philadelphia Magazine article, although it is difficult to find the sources for his assertions. At no point does the writer or the candidate give an indication that Wolf is obsessed with calling himself “Governor”. As for the claim that he has “longstanding” political ambitions, this seems to stem from the fact that Wolf intended to run for Governor in 2010 but dropped out in order to see his company through the Great Recession.
Finally, the Corbett camp hammered Wolf for a change he made in one of his campaign ads. They pointed out that Wolf is running the same commercial he ran back in February but with one noticeable difference.
“Even Secretary Tom Wolf now realizes that his lavish spending proposals outpace his proposed tax increases by billions,” Pack stated. “However, even when combining his ridiculous new revenue estimate for his energy tax proposal with his middle class income tax hike, he is still billions of dollars short of paying for his agenda. At this point, Secretary Tom Wolf is just making up numbers to fill his empty campaign rhetoric, and it’s clear that he has no real plan to lead our state. Tom Wolf is offering little more than false promises that will lead to a failed future for Pennsylvania.”